School board welcomes news of stable enrollment

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

Now that school is back in session, the Sierra Sands Unified School District Board of Edu-cation learned some good news at its Aug. 16 meeting.

For the first time in years, enrollment is “pretty stable,” according to Superintendent of Schools Joanna Rummer. “We’re down a few at the high school level, but we’re up in the elementary level.”

According to Ernie Bell, now in charge of the Sierra Sands Adult School, more than 80 students are now enrolled in the adult school. “Our graduation rates are skyrocketing,” he said. He credited his predecessor in the job, Shirley Kennedy, with this increase. “Shirley did a great job. So did our students,” he said.

Construction Management Consultant Bruce Auld reported on finishing up the various construction tasks. Auld praised the job on the new drop-off zone at Las Flores Elementary School.

“Team Abilities Unlimited did a great job. It drains nicely. We found that out during recent rains,” said Auld.

Some of the contractors went all over the grassy areas with metal detectors to reclaim any lost nuts and bolts, for safety’s sake. New sod has been laid in the new field. New shrubs and plantings, coming soon, will finish the job.

“Las Flores now has fresh, clean, safe heating and air conditioning. It took Siemens three years to design it and two months to get it all done, and it’s beautiful,” said Auld. He said the cost was about $7 million for the entire job.

Still to go — the existing restrooms need to be remodeled to make them Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant. In the meantime, there is a portable ADA-compliant restroom.

The board voted to contract with Westberg + White for interim construction management services, which involve a consultant going to the other school sites to examine existing conditions to see what needs to be done and what is in good condition. Fees for this service will be paid out of the Inyokern School Financing Authority.

The board also renewed an agreement with Southern Sierra Boys & Girls Club for after-school use of facilities at Gateway and Las Flores elementary schools.

The district had put its bread product supply out to bid, and the winner was Wholesome Bakery, $27,900 for the school year for all SSUSD schools.

The next regular meeting of the school board is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers.

Story First Published: 2012-08-29